DONEGAL County Council has been urged to purchase a 40 acre town centre site in Milford for housing and a new primary school.
Cllr John O’Donnell has proposed the council purchase the lands for sale in Milford beside the Loreto Convent to deliver much needed housing and a new national school.
The site is currently up for sale but the closing date for the sale is tomorrow (Friday).
Speaking at the Letterkenny Milford MD on Tuesday, Cllr O’Donnell said the site would be ideal for developing and is “too good an opportunity to miss”.
He added a housing development would go some way in addressing the growing waiting lists for social housing.
“There is a big housing need in Milford and there are neighbouring villages who also list Milford as an area of their choice for social housing so we need to start building houses here,”he said.
“We definitely need to look at this site as it is well situated and within walking distance of the town.
“It will be good value for money and I think the council would be mad to miss it.
“We have always been calling about the national school and if they were allocated the money, that site would be ideal,” said Cllr O’Donnell.
Cllr Liam Blaney also voiced his support for the motion.
He said he informed the council’s housing engineer about the site before it was coming onto the market but added that the closing date presents a short time frame for the council to act.
A spokesperson for the council said a number of sites are being explored in Milford.
Cllr O’Donnell said it would be hard to come by 40 acres in the middle of a town centre close to the town, shops, amenities and local schools.
“I think the council would need to engage more with the estate agent,” he said.
“I would be calling on the council to make a bid on the ownership because if it goes into private ownership, we are leaving ourselves snookered.We need to get lands bought here if we are serious about building houses.”
A spokesperson for Donegal County Council said, “In tandem with the current construction programme, the council is actively pursuing the acquisition of lands suitable for housing purposes, in towns and villages where there is currently not a social housing solution available.
“In addition to the current expression of interest advertisement for suitable lands on the council’s website, the council is also separately identifying parcels of land with social housing potential in areas of need.
“The council is currently considering a number of sites in Milford.
“As part of the process of acquiring land, the team liaises and consults on a cross-directorate basis with other council services in carrying out due diligence in respect of each potential acquisition.”